Session 9

Stakeholder Acceptance of Sustainable Standard Systems in Mining
Rasmus Tröster1, Samuel Drempetic2, Philipp Sauer2, Fabian Krause3, Michael Hiete1
1Ulm University, Germany; 2University of Kassel, Germany; 3University of Hohenheim, Germany

Similar to other industry sectors, mining faces different sustainability issues like human rights abuses or discharge of hazard substances. One attempt to tackle these problems are voluntary standard systems. These systems are based on different actors and set and enforce sustainable standard requirements. In the mining sector two observations can be made. On the one hand, many standard systems exist, which in turn vary highly in their configuration, for example the targeted mineral resources, coverage of the supply chain or the intensity of the audits. On the other hand, different stakeholder groups have diverse demands upon standard systems. The aim of this study is to analyze these demands, to further examine how existing standards fulfil these requirements and to consequently give recommendations how an accepted standard system in the mining sector should be shaped. Data collection is conducted via factorial survey, which is a powerful tool to gather information. Fictional standards are presented in the form of vignettes and are evaluated by the respondents. This survey design is advantageous since respondents are confronted with concrete and realistic scenarios. This is especially helpful in the partially abstract field of standard systems. Beside traditional stakeholder groups like mining companies, processing companies, civil society and public actors, also organizations behind standard systems and the financial sector are involved in the survey. The content-related scope of the survey concerns three features of standard systems (requirements, governance and implementation process) as well as environmental factors. Results might give insights into the acceptance differences between stakeholder groups, regarding different benefits of standard systems, priorities for features of standard systems and the fit of existing standard systems according to these priorities.